When summer comes around and it’s so hot your makeup melts away in the sun, there’s nothing for it but to slip on your mini shorts and oversized sunnies and just embrace the inelegance of it all. I love the atmosphere of spontaneity and playful nonchalance that’s so unique to summer. For the same reason I’m completely enamored of the multi-candy-coloured prints from Australian brand Pemba Boutique which embodies these sentiments so well: Bright red chilies in white negative space, long tangerine zigzags, painterly fruit medley on a violate platter; need I say more? Today’s outfit features Pemba’s Pine Ale Shorts in Turquoise Ikat print – so playful and cool that it beckons one to take a rainbow mocktail in hand. Being the massive cliché that I am, my choice of shoe is of course a pair of simple ankle strap sandals.
If Pemba Boutique’s pieces remind you of the contents of a suitcase that’s just been around the world, well, that’s because owners Pip and Nancy are global travelers. From Africa to Asia, they came, they saw, they danced, and then they came home and opened up shop. As someone on the verge of contracting the travel bug, I can’t help but feel that just-off-the-plane euphoria when browsing through their many easy-to-wear separates and onesies. Each piece looks like it came fresh from a beach-front bazaar somewhere.
Thrifted I Heart NY T Shirt & Sunglasses (similar) \\ Shorts Pine Ale in Turquoise c/o Pemba Boutique \\ Marc by Marc Jacobs Watch (similar) \\ ASOS Hong Kong Heel Sandal with Metal Trim c/o ASOS (also in red and black) \\ 3.1 Phillip Lim Medium Pashli Satchel in Multi-Media
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
In November, I practically boycotted any retail stores (except Peter Alexander, because I can’t give up cute pajamas) in an attempt to curb my impulse shopping problem. However, to take the edge off the urges, I allowed myself unlimited purchases from opshops. So here are my top 4 thrifted items for November.
#1 Army Jacket $40
On a whim, fellow Canberra blogger Heather (Heatstorm Blog) and I decided to venture out of north Canberra to see what south side’s opshops had to offer. We ended up at the Phillip Salvo’s, where I spotted a rack of what looked to be assorted army uniforms. Without thinking, I nabbed this jacket like it was the only jacket left on earth. It was part of a full jacket and pant suit for $40, and the Salvo’s doesn’t sell in separates, so I paid the full price for the jacket alone. After I got this home and examined it closely, I realised just how much indication there was that it was previously owned by an actual soldier – the threads left over where badges were sewn to the shoulders and the nametag on the lining inscribed with ‘LT. COL. HUNTER’. It made me feel a little guilty about having bought it, thinking that this belonged in a museum somewhere, or kept in the family of whom ever ‘Lieutenant Colonel Hunter’ was. The moral implications aside, this is, undoubtedly, one beautiful jacket – perfect above the hip length, amazing roomy sleeves that I love but is so hard to find (like the amazing Wildwood Bomber Jacket). While the price takes it out of the range I would usually buy from opshops, this is still my number one November thirft buy.
I wore this here.
#2 ‘I Heart NY’ T Shirt $3.50
As I discovered, T Shirts are dirt cheap at opshops, and is always worth a good browse. I’ve never been to New York, and yet I’ve previously owned various versions of the ‘I Heart NY’ T’s. The lettering and configuration are just visually appealing, I guess. It’s the cut of this shirt that got me interested. I love a boy cut T shirt with a round neck and extra length in the arms (for rolling) and hem (for tucking).
I wore this here.
#3 Mirrored Wayfarer Sunglasses $10
I always look through sunglasses at opshops because it’s a great place to get unusual styles. What you find is usually mediocre quality and unbranded, but might look great just the same. Somehow it feels better buying a Bali rip-off or kiosk no-brand from an opshop. I guess it’s the knowledge that someone else was duped into buying it first, and perhaps you’re just making the best of their misguided impulse buy. These unique clear plastic and mirrored wayfarers were from Hipsley Lane in Braddon, which has gone back to it opshop roots as of late. I love anything in clear plastic right now, and the style is reminiscent of the Carerra Craze.
#4 Annapelle Black Leather Satchel $4
I usually never bother to look at bags at opshops because there’s always a great pile of cheap polyester bags from shops like Equip or Kmart that are not worth thrifting, no matter how cute. The hope is always that you’ll come across a great find that even the shop keeper didn’t know about. This time I was able to find a beautiful leather Annapelle satchel minus the shoulder straps. It had no price tag, and the shopkeeper let me have it for $4. Annapelle is sort of an unexciting David Jones brand marketed towards sensible women, but they’re leather bags are always superior quality, and definitely worth more than $4!
What did you thrift in November?
Monday, December 2, 2013
A few weeks ago, ingenious new smartphone app Snaptee asked me to design my own T shirt – the app allows anyone to design a T shirt in seconds using your own photo or art or Snaptee’s beautiful default fonts and have it printed and mailed to you, hey-presto! The app also allows you to publish your design on your profile and other Snaptee users can like and share it. It’s like an Instagram for T shirts. You can even make money by selling your design to other users!
So just when I thought I was the first in on the next big thing, I find out I’m jumping on the back of the bandwagon yet again. I was mouthing off about my new Snaptee at work, and how I made it ‘all by myself’ and one of the women said her kids make shirts on there all the time. It just goes to show, it’s so easy to make your own T shirt on Snaptee that even 10 year old kids are doing it. I don’t blame them, because, man, is this app addictive.
The idea behind Snaptee is reminiscent of the make-your-own-T-shirt fad of the 90’s. Remember those places where you could get your photo taken and have it printed on a T shirt? The appeal of such shirts continues to baffle me, but I guess it’s natural for humans to forgo style altogether to leave a mark, like writing on wet concrete, or putting anagrams on handkerchiefs. I’m sure there’s a warehouse somewhere in the world that contains the remains of all the unfunny T shirts of that era.
So I thought I would pay homage to that era, and make an unfunny T shirt of my own. I wanted to capture something of the fashion blogger state of mind. All pretences aside, we bloggers are just shameless peacocks, imploring others to look at us, see what we have and read what we write, and every outfit is a blog post opportunity. Like many T shirts in history, the message of this one is a patent lie — assuming, of course, that I have not mastered the ability to bend space and time.
You guys have got to get onto this app. You won’t believe how easy it is to design and make your own Snaptee! My user name on the app is ‘Closetvoyage’ – come find me!
Happy Snaptee-ing everyone!
T shirt c/o Snaptee \\ Gestuz Leather Pencil Skirt with Split c/o ASOS (similar) \\ Vintage cross shoulder bag \\ Rag & Bone Classic Newbury Boots in Black \\ Marc by Marc Jacobs Watch \\ Swarovski Pendant
Sunday, December 1, 2013
For a year now I’ve had my heart set on a pair of black Rag & Bone Newbury ankle boots. The mid and end of year sales brought with them heavily discounted Newbury’s in all the colours, patterns and textures of the past season, but I’m proud to say that I didn’t give in to temptation. Rather than impulse splurging on a floral, metallic or even brown pair for an altogether reasonable price, I ignored the sales and purchased a pair of Rag & Bone Newbury boots in distressed black leather. A 20% off promotion at Green With Envy during the Vogue Fashion Night Out, and free shipping made the decision easy. The Newbury might not be all that special to look at, but a beautiful basic doesn’t need any bells and whistles: it must be simple, classic, and practical. The Newbury’s charm is in the roomy high cut ankle that works wonders for my, let’s say, ‘bulky’ legs, and the stacked heel that gives satisfying height but keeps it casual for everyday. Though it’s coming into summer on this side of the equator, Canberra’s fickle weather dictates that winter pieces be close at hand at all times, and the Newbury is the perfect transeasonal boot.
Saturday, November 30, 2013
A lot of people think I go through clothes like Kinder Surprise toys – you keep opening more chocolate eggs to see what’s inside then the toys go in a box somewhere. It’s probably true that I buy more clothes than may be considered healthy, but it’s only because of my skittish tastes in clothes which tend to jump from one fad to another in quick succession. This time last year it was spikes and studs on everything, then six months ago it was perspex shoes, and most recently – black, black and more black. All of such vagaries are of course, meticulously chronicled on this very blog.
But unlike a kid’s sentimental relationship with capsule toys, and contrary to popular belief, I don’t have a particularly large wardrobe. My mild OCD with having things unaccounted for would never allow it. In fact, I have a regular sized walk in, half of which is taken up by my pretentious lawyer costumes.
I have hard and fast rules about when clothes must go. For example, clothes are not kept on the off chance they may be worn ‘some time’, and while poor quality is a strong reason for recycling after a few wears, good quality and craftsmanship alone are not reason enough to keep something that does not suit. I routinely resell clothes, mainly for funds to buy more, and partly as a means of atoning past style faux pas. I do have one rule that perhaps is more on the emotional side: before I sell a piece of clothing, I wear it one last time – its last chance to show me it shouldn’t be spring cleaned.
And that long story brings me to the last hoorah of my Zara biker coat, which was a frenzied, foaming-at-the-mouth kind of impulse buy from last season, when Zara finally opened its boutique in Canberra. I found no more seeming way to war this jacket over winter than with leather and more leather, today, with my Vera Moda leather skinnies, Windsorsmith studded western boots (which I also have in silver studs) and my 3.1 Phillip Lim satchel. I absolutely love the perfect contrast of gold hardware on black leather, and the oversized zipper on this Zara coat was a huge selling point for me. My only complaint is that the hip pockets are fake – don’t you hate that? I mean, when I wear a jacket, I can’t stand not being able to put my hands in those pockets. Is it just me?
Zara Biker Coat \\ Bonds T Shirt \\ Vera Moda leather pants \\ 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Satchel in Multi-media \\ Windsorsmith ‘Lassoo’ studded western boots \\ Swarovski Pendant